Up until the first goal yesterday we did everything I hoped we would do and for the first time in a long time. We crossed early, we pressed and if someone was watching the game having spent the past year not knowing anything about either side, they'd have said we were looking the more likely to score.
Then came the penalty. And this is where I have a series of Tweets to embed, because I've written it already and I don't think I need to say more.
I could understand why that penalty was awarded, if done by the referee. I don't understand it with VAR.— The Villa Blog (@AVFCBlog) July 9, 2020
And now the Premier League have said the VAR decision was wrong. And you all know my views on VAR and this isn't the first time this season it's gone against us. I'd say if we were counting up VAR decisions we'd be losing by a bigger margin than we lost last night.
We have one referee, we don't have two. VAR should be scrapped. Not only is it destroying the passion in the game, it's breaking the game.
But we did lose last night and we only have four games left of the season. This is where the next Tweet comes in.
Purslow has a plan people. We are going to have to win 3 of the remaining 4 games to stay up and if we go down Smith will go anyway. Purslow has a plan and it's aim and focus is short term impact. Smith isn't going to keep us up.#avfc #theremustbeaplan— The Villa Blog (@AVFCBlog) July 9, 2020
And you all know I like Dean Smith and that I thought last season was the best we've had in a long time. But I don't want to see us relegated. I also think that Dean Smith could keep us in the Premier League, if he didn't have to make so many changes to the squad (another thing you all know I don't like is too many new players at any one time).
But for Dean Smith now, it's looking very much like he's going to relegate us and if the owners are okay with that, then we go on as we are and we approach next season in the Championship with as few changes as possible and hope that we bounce straight back up. We then do what Sheffield United have done and not make many changes.
If the worst happens, we trust some of our younger players and do our best to keep hold of our better players. Continuity at any football club is very important.
And if that is the plan, great. But I don't think our owners want to be relegated, so I think our CEO has a plan and I think it will come in to play any day. If nothing happens, then I'm wrong. Our owners are happy to be relegated or the CEO is happy for us to be relegated. But if I'm right and they want to stay in the Premier League, there must be a plan and sadly that plan can't include Dean Smith.
I'll end on last night and just say that it did look better. I'm not sure we would have won in the end, but until the penalty, I was pleasantly surprised. And whatever happens today, Sunday is a must win game. Lose that and I think it's fair to say we're down. Win it and we go into the final three with a little belief.